New Democracy won by a landslide, which allows Kyriakos Mitsotakis to form a stand-alone Government with 158 MPs, something that has not happened since the G. Papandreou governance in 2009.
After the final counting of the results, New Democracy got 39.8%, SYRIZA 31.5%, KINAL 8.1%, KKE 5.3%, and the two newcomers, Kyriacos Velopoulos’ Greek Solution, and G. Varoufakis’ DiEM25, got 3.7% and 3.4% of the vote respectively.
For the first time since the outbreak of the economic crisis in Greece, the political system has returned to the “regularity” of stand-alone governments and strong bipolarism. The neo-Nazi party of Golden Dawn will stay out of Parliament, as it went crashing down from September 2015’s 7% to 2.9%. Former Minister of Defense Panos Kamenmenos’ party also failed to pass the 3% threshold, sharing the fate of The River of Stavros Theodorakis, which did not even run in the elections.
K. Mitsotakis’ tough challenges
For Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his administration, which is being announced today, a crucial challenge is that of fulfilling the aspirations of New Democracy, particularly in the field of tax reduction. It is clear that the new prime minister acknowledged that there is no wasting time.
However, what the new government will do regarding insurance, taxation, labor, benefits, the public health system and national issues remains unclear. It is recalled that New Democracy has invested much of its political placement and confrontation against the SYRIZA government on the Prespa Agreement. In addition, its programmatic ambiguity on specific issues is one of the strong points of criticism drawn against them.
According to the announcements, the first steps of the new government will be to strengthen policing, focusing on the Exarheia district in Athens and to abolish the university asylum. At the same time, changes in the government’s operation are expected, while the aim is to propose bills for strengthening investments, taxation and for changes to the electoral law.
The next day in SYRIZA
SYRIZA, on the other hand, saw its percentages rise by more than 6 points and by around 400,000 votes compared to the European elections, while its cohesion seemed impressively strengthened. By gathering 31.5% of the vote, against the bets that projected Al. Tsipras reaching no more than 28%, SYRIZA is now transformed into the other political pole in Greece, the left, the center-left and the broader progressive arc with a solid social base.
The next steps for Al. Tsipras and his party include the redeployment of forces in order for a strong, institutional and programmatic opposition to be formed, which will oppose any choice of the New Democracy government and will call into question their social achievements. It is a big question whether SYRIZA will be able to once again play a major role in the social movements.
A big challenge, however, as Al. Tsipras put it in his statements, is for SYRIZA to become a party that will be able to express and integrate its social and electoral basis. Internal procedures are expected shortly.
The voting’s class characteristics
It is also noted that the qualitative results show that SYRIZA leads the race with 38% in the group of young people aged 17-24 against New Democracy’s 30%, while Mitsotakis’ party leads in the group of over 55 years of age with 45.2% against SYRIZA’s 27.8%.
One more class characteristic is recorded in the voting results, as New Democracy precedes with a percentage in some cases over 60% in the rich suburbs of Athens, while SYRIZA comes first in the folk and working districts. Finally, in Thessaloniki, in the light of the reactions to the Prespa Agreement, New Democracy and SYRIZA won three municipalities each./ibna